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Ceilidh: Community gathering comes to Aldergrove

Former OAP hall becomes backdrop for singing, dancing, socializing on April 29
Singer Janine Dahl will add a Maritime flavour to the Aldergrove Ceilidh on Friday, April 29, from 7 to 9 p.m., at the Aldergrove Old Age Pensioner hall on 273rd Street. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

By Jim McGregor/Special to Langley Advance Times

Everyone’s been invited to a Ceilidh in Aldergrove.

The word is pronounced kay-lee and comes from Gaelic history meaning dance or kitchen music gathering. Any gathering of the clans usually resulted in singing, dancing, competitions, and the odd fight if there was a little too much grog and not enough singing, explains host Faith Dahl.

She’s the organizer of the upcoming Aldergrove Ceilidh, a public event she sees as a chance to break loose of the COVID restrictions that have kept most from gathering in recent years.

“It’s time to be normal again. I have been to many Ceilidhs here and in Scotland, but I have never organized one,” said the chair of the Aldergrove Arts Club.

“People are looking to get back out there and socialize so we’re stepping up to provide a night out.”

The gathering will be held on Friday, April 29, from 7 to 9 p.m., at the Aldergrove Old Age Pensioner hall – now renamed as Heritage Hall – at 3015 273rd. St.

Dahl describes it as a showcase for the facility.

“It’s a lovely hall for this type of event. There is lots of room and a great sound system that will bring a good experience for the audience,” he said.

RELATED: Annual Aldergrove Ceilidh postponed ‘until healthier times’

“It is a joint venture with the Aldergrove OAP,” Dahl explained. “The majority of money raised will be directed back into the hall, for upgrades to the leaky roof and improving handicap accessibility. Some proceeds will go back to the arts club, to cover expenses. This is the first one we have planned, but we hope they will catch on and become a monthly event.”

Ten dollars will get a person in the door, and Dahl promises there will be coffee, tea, cookies and plenty of toe-tapping and hand-clapping entertainment.

Dahl has a varied line-up for the first night.

“We don’t have any professional musicians lined up for that night, but we want to provide local musicians a chance to perform, all volunteering their talent,” he said.

Adding a Celtic flavour will be a young lassie from Cape Breton, Janine Dahl. She’s Dahl’s daughter-in-law, who will be playing guitar and singing Nova Scotia tunes.

“She brings down the house wherever she performs. She has played at other Ceilidhs locally, and other events, so people know her well.”

She also teaches woodshop at R.E. Mountain Secondary so Dahl suspects some of her students and their parents will be attending that night.

Dahl and her committee are still firming up some more entertainment for that evening.

“We are hoping to have some Irish dancers on stage, as well. We will have the wonderful sound of the ragtime piano played by Jay Wozniak. We plan to have all different styles of music for that night.”

In turn, Dahl expects the local performers will attract people from the community who don’t often get to see them perform on stage.

The plan is that the word will get around and attract other acts for future nights, she said.

“We’ve talked to the Welsh Men’s Choir and other groups, but we have to see when they are available. If we can generate enough interest we will make this a monthly event.”

Come on down and tune up the voice, because “you’ll be singing along before you know it,” Dahl suggested.

“People are ready to get out and socialize and mingle and meet again and we hope to provide some good entertainment so people can feel some joy and lightheartedness again.”

IN PAST: Coghlan Hall hosts its first Ceilidh


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